Fairfax County business leaders representing a variety of IT companies and other industries attended Fairfax Futures’ Annual Business Leaders Reception this month at the home of Fairfax Futures Board Member and CEO of Sevatec, Balan Ayyar. Special guests included U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova.
Connolly, a long-time advocate of early childhood education, said, “It is never too early to start building the next generation of STEM leaders.” Comparing investing in STEM to beginning the space program after Sputnik, Connolly said, “STEM is a critical investment the U.S. must make.”
Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova also praised Fairfax Futures for its partnership with Fairfax County to bring more attention and resources to early childhood education. “Education is the most important economic development tool we have. The secret is making sure that we reach out and educate children at the youngest age," Bulova said.
At the reception, Fairfax Futures released its newest publication, Building STEM Connections in Early Childhood, made possible through support from Dominion and Sevatec. The new resource offers ideas about everyday experiences that parents and educators can share with young children to promote early STEM learning.
Fairfax Futures Board Chairman Cathy Lange also marked the occasion by announcing a recently-awarded $50,000 grant from The Boeing Company to help early childhood educators integrate STEM learning into their early childhood education programs.
L to R: Cathy Lange, Human Capital Advisors and Chairman, Fairfax Futures, Rep. Gerry Connolly, and Vera Steiner Blore, Executive Director, Fairfax Futures
Deborah Johnson of Dominion and Ms. Steiner Blore
Sharon Bulova, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, Rep. Connolly, Ms. Lange, Andrew Butler of InfoReliance, and Balan Ayyar, CEO, Sevatec
Ted Austell of The Boeing Company, Mr. Ayyar, and Ms. Lange
Mr. Austell, Anne-Marie Twohie, Director, Fairfax County Office for Children, and Chairman Bulova
Ms. Steiner Blore, Suresh Shenoy of Alyx Technologies, Mitch Weintraub of Cordia Partners, and Eileen Ellsworth, President, Community Foundation of Northern Virginia